Ossuary pie is one of those special treats that is not only ridiculously easy to make but tastes decadent when you’re all done. Originally this pie was made with the ground up bones of the unrepentant, but as chopping up people is not exactly smiled upon with you mortals, I’ll be making the usual non-demon adjustments to your version.
We’ll start with the ossuary cherries first as they take the most time. Then we’ll move on to the actual pie itself. The nice thing about this recipe is, the entire thing is a no-bake treat. While I am the first to tell you nothing makes me happier than firing up the ovens to a hell blistering degree, every once in a while it’s nice to be able to whip something up that doesn’t require an inferno level application of heat.
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To make (non-people) ossuary cherries you will need:
- 4 packages unflavored gelatin (yes, this is a lot of gelatin, but we want our skulls to have a thick, chewy texture just like real cherries would)
- 1 21-oz can of cherry pie filling
- ¼ cup cool water
- Red food coloring (optional)
- Black food coloring (optional)
Start by first blooming your gelatin over your cool water in a small pan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow it to absorb for about 10 minutes.
While that’s happening, let’s separate your cherries from the gel that they come packed in. I found the easiest way to do this was to dump the entire can of cherries into a colander over a bowl. Using a spoon (or very clean hands) pick out each cherry and pop into a separate bowl. Save the gel! You’ll use that later.
Place your cherries into a food processor and pulse until pureed.
Put your pan on the stove and turn your heat up to medium. You want to melt your gelatin completely. Once it’s fully melted and clear, add in your pureed cherries and stir to combine.
To really make sure your cherries are nice and combined with the gelatin, transfer back to the food processor and pulse again.
Transfer to a squeeze bottle with a fairly narrow tip and allow to cool to just above room temperature.
Pop your filled molds into your fridge to firm up for about 10-15 minutes.
If using the hard, clear plastic molds, I found it was easier to release the finished jelly skulls from the mold if you froze them instead of just chilling them.
Repeat the above steps until you’ve used up all your pureed cherries. I found with my mold, I was able to make about 100 cherries (and yes, that was 4 at a time, with a chill time of about 15 minutes each mold..so this is a good project to start the day before you want to actually make this pie.)
(To give your cherries all a slightly different look, I added a single drop of red food coloring or black food coloring to my puree every 12 cherries I molded. This gave them some variation in color, much like real cherries would have…but this is purely optional)
Once all your cherries are molded, store them in the fridge and we’ll move onto making the no-bake pie.
For this you will need:
- 1 8-oz block of cream cheese
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 pre-made graham cracker crust
- Your leftover cherry gel from the first section of this tutorial
- Red food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk your powdered sugar with your heavy whipping cream until peaks form.
Add in your vanilla, lemon juice and cream cheese and mix until smooth and well combined.
Transfer this mixture to your pie crust, using a spatula to smooth it out.
Use half of your saved cherry gel to cover the cream cheese layer of your pie, giving it a nice thick coating.
Gently press your cherry skulls into the gel in any pattern your dark little heart desires (I just went with the traditional circles radiating out from the center of the pie. I was aiming for 7 circles of cherry skulls to represent the 7 circles of hell, but ended up with 4. Ahh, so is life.) Try to save at least 10 skulls to decorate the pie with in the final step.
Using a pastry brush, brush the rest of your cherry gel over your now embedded skulls to glaze them and really seal them in. (If you find your gel is a little thick, a quick zap in the microwave in 15 second bursts will help soften it up.)
Feel free to also add a few drops of red food coloring if you really want your cherry gel to have a more blood like appearance!
Dot the top of your pie with your remaining skulls, making it look as though they’re bursting through the gel.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Uneaten pie (ha ha, right) can be stored in the fridge.
Feel like having more fun with that tiny skull mold? Why not head over and check out my Black Cherry Chunk Ice Scream.
Like what you see? Want to see more? Help me keep making my disgusting creations by visiting my Patreon page.